It’s very easy to get lost in the weeds when it comes to measuring success for people in the gym, on the field, or in every day life. There are endless variables that can be added to a routine, and it’s an unforgiving process to try and tweak and obsess over all the minutia.
What is the perfect sets and reps’ scheme? Should we be training 4 or 5 times a week? How long should we recover in between sets or exercises? How much protein should we ingest and how long after should we wait to do so when we’re recovering? Are there any magical breathing exercises that will speed up the recovery process and make me stronger?
There are so many more that could be asked, and even thinking about it makes my head ache. I’ve often fallen into the trap of piling one question on top of another. But in the end, what are we all chasing? The answer is PERFORMANCE.
We want to move better, get stronger, run faster, rid ourselves of pain or niggles…you get the idea. All of this comes down to performance. Are we performing better based on the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of this journey?
If you recently hired a coach, or have been working with one for a long time, it’s probably important to make sure they are tracking whether or not you’re performing better. Sounds idiotic to even ask that question, but you’d be surprised by some people. Because it seems so obvious, many people don’t even bothering tracking their performance levels.
If you’re a coach, what process do you use to monitor whether or not progress in performance is being made? The simpler we can make this, the more likely it is that we will be able to follow it consistently.
If we follow the bread crumbs, we can make changes along the way when it’s necessary. Sometimes that means changing the squat variation by adding a new constraint on your lower body, lower volume workout day.
Other times that means taking an extra day off in between workouts. The tweaks can be small, or they can be more global (meaning that a larger amount of work needs to be adjusted).
Or, we simply continue to work on the routine that’s in place, and focus on consistency. Many times, no actual changes need to be made to the program; what’s missing is a consistent input that can deliver the change we’re after. It’s the crown jewel of all clichés, but what actual progress can be made without a consistent routine?
Variation comes in all shapes and sizes, and doesn’t have to be complicated. But we should always be making small changes with the intention of improving our performance in whatever area we are working in.
We all want to perform better, and it starts with monitoring this with quantifiable benchmarks and adjusting along the way.
How do you measure success?